Below is my response to a friend who sent me these questions. How would you answer them? 

What is your view of two widowed people living together? 

Can it be done and not be in a sinful way? What is your view of Biblical marriage? 

Is the courthouse/state necessary?

Well, if you mean living as if married, when you say “living together” obviously God isn’t into that. If you mean living under the same roof as if brother and sister, I suppose that is another story, but if the said two people are “lovers” I believe marriage is necessary in God’s view.

When it comes to the courthouse/state thing, I think marriage needs to be recognized legally which means a marriage by someone recognized by the state in which they reside, whether it’s a minister or county clerk, etc. I think when it comes right down to it marriage is about a vow or covenant made between a man and woman and God, also known as “Holy” matrimony. To me this would include some sort of public display or recognition by the state, hence the wedding license and ring.

Ultimately marriage between a man and wife, them becoming one flesh, is meant by God to be a picture of our union with Him “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17). So, with that being said, marriage is a display of faithfulness, holiness, openness, truthfulness, sharing, self-sacrifice or simply put–love. The watching world should be able to look at marriage and see God’s character in full display between the two who have vowed to become one. This of course means we take the way of the cross for others. I’ll just leave it there for now. This may be more than you were asking for; but marriage is quite a topic.